Chateau Grand Moulin, Terres Rouge, AOP Corbieres, Aude, Languedoc, France, 2011
Some words about Corbieres
It is the largest Languedoc appellation, stretching from the Mediterranean coast 70kms inland to the Pyrenean foothills, rising to 400m elevation. The climate is Mediterranean in the east transitioning to Atlantic-influenced in the west. Soils are complex and varied. Reds dominate with some 80% of total production, of mixed quality; the best are powerful, coming from old vine carignan and GSM blends, keeping for 4-8 years.
A related note on the umbrella AOC Languedoc, with less strict regulation than individual appellations, covering the entire Languedoc-Roussilon …
In 2007 the umbrella AOC Languedoc replaced AOC Coteaux de Languedoc, with an expanded area from the Spanish border to Nimes, covering all the AOCs in between, eg Corbieres, Saint Chinian, Languedoc-La Clape (applied for AOP) and Languedoc-Montpeyroux.
This wine: Clay-chalk (calcareous) soil, a syrah heavy blend with 30% grenache noir and 10% carignan; aged for 12 months in 30% new and 70% 1-4 y.o. oak barrels; natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, BBR, £10 (2016).
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas, as they come, of black pepper, raw meat, spice – clove and nutmeg, toast, black berry, black plum, black cherry, peony, violet, gorse flower (delicate coconut-like), oak, liquorice and a hint of tar.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, fine-grained medium tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, with rich ripe flavours of red plum, strawberry, black berry, black plum, black cherry, liquorice, dried red cherry, spice and toast. A long length with a clean ripe black berry finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with plenty of acidity to support the modest tannins in providing the backbone, harmonious with the intensity of rich ripe flavours; quite concentrated flavours with plenty of oak influence with spice and toast, and the start of tertiary development with a tarry whiff and a dried red fruit note, and showing decent complexity, all following through to the expected long length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: can drink now, but has potential for ageing – nicely balanced, good concentration, plenty of fruit, I would expect 2-5 years with perhaps more dried fruit, chocolate and dried herbs coming through.